Getting a good night’s sleep is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Most people experience problems with sleep during their lifetime, and while it is very common to have bad sleep from time to time, if you regularly struggle with sleep, as I did for many years, you will understand just how much it can interfere with so many aspects of life.
Finding it hard to get to sleep, waking up several times during the night, and waking up early but not getting back to sleep can make it hard to concentrate during the day because you still feel tired. It can also affect your mood and relationships as you can become irritable, or feel more emotionally ‘up and down’. Lying awake at night while everyone else is sleeping can feel very lonely.
Common causes of insomnia are simple things that fortunately can sometimes be easily changed, such as too much noise or light, a room that's too hot or cold, uncomfortable beds, or too much alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. Insomnia often improves by changing your sleeping habits, and doing things such as:
These suggestions are relatively straightforward and although for some people could be tricky to stick to, they are surprisingly effective if you are able to be consistent.
Other factors related to insomnia can be a bit more difficult, but not impossible, to change such as work stress, relationship difficulties or worry about the future. Indeed, worrying about the effect of not sleeping can be a major contributor to the problem.
I have personally been successful at tackling years of difficulty with sleep by using psychological approaches and have helped others to do the same.
For more information about how to deal with trauma, contact Dr Alex.